Ottawa County SCP volunteers receive emergency “Go Bag” from the Lions Club International as a part of emergency disaster training.

MIAMI - Senior Companion Program volunteers are trained and ready to help their clients with many needs. This month SCP volunteers received an emergency “Go Bag” from the Lions Club International as a part of emergency disaster training presented by Emergency Manager Don Wilkerson.

The focus of the training was preparing for severe storms and tornadoes. Insulated and equipped with a zipper, the rear of the bags provide a quick list of important items to have "ready to go" during an emergency.

Inside, each bag was pre-equipped with a brochure on disaster preparedness for seniors from the American Red Cross, a sealing plastic bag to store important personal documents, an emergency blanket, a LED flashlight, whistle and mini first aid kit.

“Having a bag packed with medication, phone numbers and other important items is critical for seniors,” explained SCP Site Supervisor Ramie Tirres. “We want to help them, and ourselves be ready in case of an emergency.“

Topics like emergency disaster preparedness are part of the monthly educational meetings that help SCP volunteers help others and empower themselves.

SCP is now accepting applications for volunteers, and some may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend. Mileage reimbursement, holiday and sick pay, training and supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty are also volunteer benefits.

Volunteers must be 55 or older and reside in Ottawa County. SCP also has service groups in Craig and Rogers Counties.

And remember, when you volunteer you’re not just helping others - you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Studies also show that volunteering helps you live longer and promote a positive outlook on life.

Come help the Ottawa County SCP uphold their mission, which states “Senior Companions stand firm on their commitment to help older citizens remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.”

For more information contact the Ottawa County Health Department at 918-540-2481, ext. 210.